Inspiring People across the UK
The Gallery’s transformational Inspiring People project included an extensive programme of nationwide activities. Since 2020, ambitious partnerships with museums, local community groups and schools have taken the Gallery out to communities across the UK.
Faces and Places
Faces and Places is an ambitious schools outreach programme that sees the Gallery working with a specialist team of artists and historians to deliver engaging, inspiring and relevant workshops to over 50 schools across London, including those in areas recognised as having a low access to arts provision. Schools in seven boroughs - Brent, Lambeth, Westminster, Haringey, Lewisham, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham - have the opportunity to actively engage with the diversity of people represented in the Gallery’s Collection, discover artists and artworks and be inspired to create their own artistic responses. Alongside the outreach programme, digital resources are available for schools nationwide to engage with our Collection.
Snapshots is a photography project designed to build upon and extend the National Portrait Gallery’s work engaging young people with portraiture. Short courses target hard to reach young people (aged 18-24 years) at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) working in partnership with New Horizon Youth Centre. The project aims to inspire young people, raise aspirations and support their skills development through creative photography courses.
Creative Connections is an exciting national participation project for young people and artists that sees the Gallery working in partnership with the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry; Museums Sheffield, Southampton City Art Gallery, and Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange. At each location, GCSE art students work collaboratively with artists to dive into the Gallery’s Collection and discover the portraits and inspirational stories of people associated with their neighbourhood. Their creative response of new artwork offers an insight into community identities and representation, and are exhibited at each partner venue.
Citizen UK is a collaborative project working with Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives; the Ealing Local History Centre Archives; the Museum of Croydon and Wolverhampton Arts & Culture to explore post Second World War migration and British citizenship in these areas. Each site creates an exhibition or online display, working with an artist and local participants, recruited as ‘citizen researchers’. The citizen researchers help to identify people missing from the national Collection who have made an impact on British society and are relevant to their communities, and the Gallery is acquiring new works as a result.
People Powered explores the stories of international and world-class industries, ranging from aviation to football, looking at their impact on communities and local landscapes. In collaboration with the University of West London, Brent Museum, Redbridge Museum & Heritage Centre, the University of Hertfordshire and MIMA in Middlesbrough, the Gallery works with an artist or filmmaker and a group of young people in each area to collect living memories and stories and make a visual response to the theme. A display of these stories is held in each location across the three years, with a final show of all the stories at the Gallery.
National Skills Sharing Partnership Programme
A National Skills Sharing Partnership Programme sees the Gallery work with staff at museums in Belfast, Nottingham, Plymouth and Sudbury, followed by a further eight other locations, to create a UK wide learning network involving collaborative displays, exchanges, mentoring, seminars and internships. Each organisation has the opportunity to create a bespoke programme that fits their needs.
Photo Portrait Now
Photo Portrait Now is a national Higher Education partnership programme in which the Gallery and professional photographers work with photography BA and MA students at Plymouth University, Arts University Bournemouth, UCA Farnham, London South Bank University and the University of South Wales to create new work and exhibitions inspired by the Gallery’s Collection.
Schools hub is the National Portrait Gallery’s online resource hub for students and teachers. The hub features more than 150 newly commissioned learning resources and videos, all linked to the Art & Design and History National Curriculum, and developed by and with teachers, artists, historians and education experts.